Today Is The Day
Get ready for it.
Okay Then, That Was Unexpected...
Church Art Shouldn't Make You Say "Blech!"
Cardinal Urges Priests To Liven Up Sermons
I got some ideas...
New Translation Objections Are Becoming More Ridiculous
Grasping at straws...
This Comes As No Surprise
Up with the ex-communicated!
Things A Catholic Ought Never Say
Watch your mouth!
Sister Patricia: On Seven Quick-Takes Friday
Catching up with Sr Pat.
Just Thought You'd Like To Know...
A public service announcement.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
10. This So-Called Artist...
9. The Presidential Election, Spiritual Combat, and The Year of Saint Paul
8. Bring It On, Evil Empire!
7. Coming To A Church Near You: The Automated Confessional
6. Plants Have Feelings, Too
5. Nursery Rhymes For A Post-Christian Age, #1
4. Hallmark Cards Set To Reap Benefits Of So-Called Gay Marriage
3. World's First Church Discovered
2. The Only Thing Being Raptured...
1. The Super Duper Handy Parish Search Reaction Reference Guide
Thanks for stopping by this year! May 2009 bring peace in our hearts, joy in our lives, and more fun-filled blogging moments than we deserve.
Detroit has nearly double the amount of snowfall than normal. Chicago and Milwaukee have seen nearly triple the amount of the snowfall thus far. Spokane already has 57" this season, which is equal to the amount they normally receive.
And who can forget the snow in Las Vegas and New Orleans?
Which leads to this article at Canada Free Press: The Worst Climate Predictions of 2008. Some excerpts:
“You could potentially sail, kayak or even swim to the North Pole by the end of the summer. Climate scientists say that the Arctic ice . . . is currently on track to melt sometime in 2008.” Ted Alvarez, Backpacker Magazine Blogs, June, 2008.
Soon after this prediction, a huge Russian icebreaker got trapped in the thick ice of the Northwest Passage for a full week. The Arctic ice hadn’t melted in 2007, it got blown into warmer southern waters. Now it’s back.
No More Skiing? “Climate Change and Aspen,” Aspen, CO city-funded study, June, 2007.
Aspen’s study predicted global warming would change the climate to resemble hot, dry Amarillo, Texas. But in 2008, European ski resorts opened a month early, after Switzerland recorded more October snow than ever before. Would-be skiers in Aspen had lots of winter snow—but a chill factor of 18 below zero F. kept them at their fireplaces instead of on the slopes.
Here are other articles:
2008 Was The Year Man-made Global Warming Was Disproved (Telegraph UK)
Brrr - Ice Comes Early To Lake Superior (Gateway Pundit)
Alaskan Glaciers Grow For First Time In 250 Years (Daily Tech)
If there's one thing I'm grateful for in 2008, it's that Al Gore has solved Global Warming.
Now if only someone would let him know.
Monday, December 29, 2008
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Anyway. The article is titled Searching for Sex, Life, and Abortion on Catholic Google, and its author is disappointed because searches lead you to sites and articles that reinforce Catholic teaching. For instance...
When I searched for “contraception,” a few conservative articles came up about the Vatican’s antiquated stance on contraception. If I had searched on normal Google, I would have been directed to articles on contraception, how to properly use birth control, and where to purchase contraceptives. Thank goodness CatholicGoogle.com saves us from that blasphemy!
Oh, the horror of it all! A Catholic search engine that restricts most of the results to authentic teaching. Where's the heresy? Where's the obstinate denial of declared doctrine? She's forced to use the secular Google process to find blasphemy. Poor poor thing.
The same happened when I searched “stem cell research,” “sex,” “life” and “abortion.” All the articles reinforced the institutional Catholic Church stance on the subjects.
As opposed to the "recreational" Catholic Church stance, right?
The reason for her disappointment can be found in the disclaimer statement at the site, where it states: Catholic search engine powered by Google striving to provide an easy to use resource to anyone wanting to learn more about Catholicism and provide a safer way for good Catholics to surf the web. The operative word being "good". So-called Catholics won't like the search engine because their Meism beliefs won't be supported. Perhaps if she wants to find the heretical positions more quickly without the Truth filter, she should create an ApostateGoogle search engine.
Just for fun, I Catholicgoogled my blog, as well as a few others, and in each case, they came up at the top of the list. Then, on a whim, I searched "Call to Action" and a couple interesting images popped up:
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Two millenia ago, in the occupied land of Israel, a young family endured struggles, too. They travelled 75 miles across rugged terrain, on foot and on the back of a donkey. They were unable to secure lodging. Their child was born amid the sheep and cattle in a smelly, cold, uncomfortable cave. Somehow, through all this, the family endured. Christ our Savior was born in difficult circumstances to show He came amid suffering; that He, with Mary and Joseph, lived through trials, stresses and uncertainties. Not to eliminate it in this life, but to demonstrate how to endure it in order to reach unending joy in the next. He was, after all, like us in all things but sin.
And He came for you. And for me. Not just you in a collective sense - although that is true - but he came for you - the "you" that is reading this right now. He came for the individual.
...for the traveller delayed and denied, frustrated at being separated from family and friends, by circumstances completely beyond your control...He came for you.
...for the person left without power as a result of winter storms, left in cold and uncomfortable circumstances...He came for you.
...for the man or woman facing an uncertain economic future, whether it be the autoworker in Janesville WI, or Loraine OH whose plant was shut down; whether it be the retailer facing tough times; whether it be the employer forced to decide who remains employed and who doesn't...He came for you.
...for the person who feels estranged from family during what should be the most joyful time of year...He came for you.
...for the person who has no family or friends to celebrate with...He came for you.
...for the non-believer, adamant in their atheism, proud of their rationalism...He came for you.
What it all comes down to, to one degree or another, is this simple fact. The joy we experience at this time of year ought not be dependent on our external circumstances, but on our internal disposition. Regardless if the current events of our lives are as pristine as a Rockwell painting or Currier and Ives picture, or are ugly and messy for whatever reason - the Truth is, our joy comes from the realization that Christ came. The Word became flesh. He came so that we might have life, and have it more abundantly. Christ came as God's greatest gift, and he came amidst the severest of circumstances.
Our response ought to be one of joy. And, like Mary, as troubling times swirl around us, we ought to ponder on them in our heart. And trust.
Merry Christmas to everyone. May the joy of Christ fill your hearts and bring you peace and contentment.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
The following two videos, recently created by a friend of mine, asks you to imagine that number of deaths occurring through different circumstances.
Monday, December 22, 2008
I've had opportunities to talk with him on several occasions, and his words have always been spot-on and encouraging. We played golf one time - and let me say that I think it's downright sinful for a priest to hit a drive 300 yards plus down the middle of the fairway.
Yesterday, I received an email of his that provides some perspective on the crises and struggles facing us, particularly those of us in Michigan. His words, though, apply to everyone, in any circumstance.
I recently had the chance to sit in on a conversation that has left me with something of an indelible image in my mind. The details about who was talking aren’t important, but the conversation was one that revolved around the topic of faith and in particular someone’s struggles with issues of faith – not so much flat out belief in God, but rather those littler questions that nag all of us at one time or other, questions like, “Will God provide for me?” or “Do I have what it takes to do what’s being asked of me?” In the course of the discussion, the story of David and Goliath came up. The man doing the talking started with something like this…
The Israelites and the Philistines were encamped on opposite side of a valley, and were about to engage in an all-out war when out from the lines stepped Goliath and challenged the Israelites to pick one soldier to do battle with him in a winner take all duel. The Israelite soldiers, professional soldiers, looked at this giant of a man, then considered their own skills and talents, and each came to the conclusion, “I can’t win that battle.” And they judged rightly. They didn’t have the strength, the skill, or the necessary gifts to win the day.
Then along comes David. David is not a professional soldier. He’s a shepherd – granted, he’s a pretty darn good shepherd, seeing as he has killed a bear and a lion in defense of the flock he cared for. David hears the insults Goliath is hurling at his brothers and comes to the King, Saul, and says, “I’ll fight him.” What gives? How is it that countless professional soldiers said, “No” and this shepherd youth said, “Yes”? The answer was in the fact that David didn’t look at Goliath and measure his own strength against his. He didn’t ask the question, “Can I beat him.” He simply asked, “Can God beat him?” And the answer to that was a resounding, “Yes!”
In these days I have sensed over and over again that there is a pall hanging over our State, like one of those grey February afternoons where the sun refuses to shine. As we look at the local economy, especially as we consider the future of the Detroit 3 and all of the companies and people who make a living related to them, fear and anxiety is occupying more and more of our minds. And rightly so! So long as we look at the challenges and obstacles that face us, how can we not be afraid or anxious? But when we do this we imitate the Israelite soldiers. We need to imitate David!
In these Advent days we hear on several occasions the passage in Luke’s Gospel of the angel Gabriel coming to Mary (Luke 1:26-38). Near the end of that passage comes the truth that has been ringing in my mind throughout these days: “For with God, nothing is impossible.” Nothing is impossible for God! This isn’t to say He will provide a miraculous deliverance as regards the economy. But it is to say that no matter what we’re dealing with, or what is coming our way in the future, He will be faithful. He never allows any trial to come our way for which He does not provide the grace and strength that we need not merely to get through it but to go through it with joy.
As we prepare to celebrate Christmas and the reality that God is Immanuel, God with us, let us ask Him for the grace to keep our eyes on Him, to call out for His strength, to trust that He will always be with us, and for the grace to grow in confidence that for Him nothing is impossible.
When asked how he interprets the position's role in the Church, he replied: "If Hulk see liturigical dancers, Hulk SMASH!!!!!!"
There were no follow-up questions.
Hockey stick salute to Lair of the Catholic Cavemen
Friday, December 19, 2008
From the National Catholic Distorter:
Representatives of 15 Catholic organizations met with President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team yesterday in Washington. (to be more accurate: So-called Catholics, representing 15 quasi-community activist groups, met with BHO's transition team.)
The Catholic groups presented members of the transition team with a list of policy concerns in the areas of international development and trade, health care reform, immigration, domestic policy and poverty reduction, and the environment.
The presentations and policy discussion that followed were based on “Platform for the Common Good,” a consensus document that came from a convention the groups hosted this summer in Philadelphia called the “Convention for the Common Good.”
Conspicuously absent from the list of policy concerns are abortion, euthanasia, ESCR, so-called same-sex marriage....big surprise there. Abortion does get mentioned much later in the article, seemingly as an afterthought, and it's described as a "great tragedy". Gee, that's nice.
The Catholic groups represented include: Catholics United, Pax Christi USA, Network, the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, Conference of Major Superiors of Men, the Jesuit Conference, School of the Americas Watch, Franciscan Action Network, Sisters of Mercy, Africa Faith and Justice Network, the Center of Concern, Catholic Scholars for Worker Justice and Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good.
Sounds like Doug Kmiec (he's not mentioned in the article - strategic omission, perhaps?) has brought the Travelling Freak Show to Washington.
Red Wing stick salute to Dad29
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Red Wings stick salute to Carolina Cannonball
To read something that underscores the truth in the little zinger, check out Fr Dwight Longenecker's blog Standing On My Head. He states ...that the whole Advent and Christmas season (lasting right up to Candlemass on February 2) was a long sacred holiday that celebrated the Incarnation of Our Lord, and it was the Protestants who yanked all the sacred festivals and observations. The ironic thing is, they often pulled them with the argument that the festivals were 'pagan'.
There's more to read if you follow the link from his blog.
From the Politico: Gay Leaders Furious at Obama
Barack Obama’s choice of (Rick Warren) to perform the invocation at his inauguration is a conciliatory gesture toward social conservatives who opposed him in November, but it is drawing fierce challenges from a gay rights movement that – in the wake of a gay marriage ban in California – is looking for a fight...
“....Your invitation to Reverend Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at your inauguration is a genuine blow to LGBT Americans,” the president of Human Rights Campaign, Joe Solomonese, wrote Obama Wednesday. “[W]e feel a deep level of disrespect when one of architects and promoters of an anti-gay agenda is given the prominence and the pulpit of your historic nomination.....”
"...His presence on the inauguration stand is a slap in the faces of the millions of GLBT voters who so enthusiastically supported him,” Naff wrote, referring to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people. “This tone-deafness to our concerns must not be tolerated. We have just endured eight years of endless assaults on our dignity and equality from a president beholden to bigoted conservative Christians. The election was supposed to have ended that era. It appears otherwise.”
Lighten up, dudes. It's called politics. You didn't expect the Messiah to choose a transgendered priestess of the Universal Church of Gaia-worship to perform the invocation when 85% or more of the nation professes to be Christian, did you? Or maybe you would have preferred Bishop Eugene Robinson do the invocation instead.
Thus the Easily Offended crowd shrieks at perceived injustice. At least they'll have a band there to help soothe their hurt feelings.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
From The Daily News: Happy Birthday, Adolph Hitler! Boy with Nazi Leader's Name Denied ShopRite Cake
This Hitler youth is blond-haired, blue-eyed and just turned three.
Adolf Hitler Campbell is the middle child of three kids given Nazi-themed names by their parents, including a dad who denies the Holocaust occurred and decorates his home with swastikas.
"They're just names, you know," father Heath Campbell told the Easton Express-Times. "Yeah, they (the Nazis) were bad people back then. But my kids are little. They're not going to grow up like that."
Adolf has two sisters, JoyceLynn Aryan Nation and Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie. The latter, just eight months old, was named for Nazi leader Heinrich Himmler.
The bizarre names came to public attention after a local ShopRite declined to provide the Holland Township, N.J., family with a cake inscribed "Happy Birthday Adolf Hitler."
"Other kids get their cake," Campbell complained. "I get a hard time. It's not fair to my children. How can a name be offensive?"
The kids are growing up in a home festooned with a swastika in every room. The father wears boots that once belonged to a Nazi soldier, and claims a relative was a member of Hitler's feared Schutzstaffel.
The parents insist they are not racist, although they don't believe in mingling the races.
And Heath Campbell claims he doesn't understand why people are shocked when they hear his son's full name.
Someone give him a history book.
Twenty years from now, a Holland Township NJ therapist will become a very wealthy person.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
At Lifenews.com: Poll Shows Britons Favor Euthanasia, Showing of Assisted Suicide on Television
Following the controversial screening of an assisted suicide on a television program last week, a new poll finds Britons favoring euthanasia. The YouGov poll also shows a majority of English residents had no problem with televising the disabled man's death.
The poll, conducted for the London Times, surveyed more than 2,000 people and found that half (61 percent) would consider an assisted suicide for themselves while 15 percent would not and the rest were undecided.
The survey also showed 61 percent believed there was no problem with Sky TV showing the death of Craig Ewert, who killed himself in an assisted suicide in Switzerland. Just 27 percent were opposed to the screening.
Another 85 percent of Britons agreed with the decision of prosecutors to not charge relatives in the recent case of Daniel James, who also killed himself at a foreign "euthanasia clinic."
Another 69 percent believe the nation's law should be changed to make it legal to help a relative go to another country to get an assisted suicide with facing charges upon their return.
Human-animal hybrids. An increase in teenage pregnancies despite progressive sex education and access to birth control (see story here). Crosses removed from a jail's chapel for the fear that it might offend Muslims - even though there are no Muslims in the prison! Progressive PC pastors rewriting Christmas carols. And now this.
These are just several examples I quickly recalled without even really trying. There are additional stories that demonstrate England's rapid decline into the cesspool of secular humanism. G K Chesterton would probably not even be published if he were alive today - which is no great stretch, because he's hardly studied in schools and universities.
In the list of nations that need to be re-evangelized, England ought to be at the top. Yes, America has it problems, too. But it seems that the UK needs an influx of missionaries in a biiiiiig way.
Red Wings stick salute to CMR for two of the links.
"I went to confession in my hometown parish over Thanksgiving. I’d attended church alone, and I hadn’t been to confession in over a year, so when the priest said he was hearing them, I decided to go...
"I actually think confession is one of the best parts of being Catholic. I think it’s incredibly healing to be able to speak about your shortcomings out loud and have a ritual that mimics God’s forgiveness. The stressful part, of course, is lining up your litany of “sins” before going in. Rather than make a list, I simply talked about a couple things that I felt were really interfering with my relationship to God and neighbor. When I was done, the priest asked, “Anything else?”
"And I said, “No,” at the same moment wondering if it was a little arrogant. Because certainly I had committed more transgressions than the two I spoke about; but I also refused to “confess” behaviors and feelings that I no longer recognize as sinful, things like bisexuality, masturbation, exploring other spiritualities, and voting Democrat. So it’s true that, yes, my list of transgressions is shorter now that I’ve rethought what sin really means. And that got me wondering: what is Catholicism without the Sin?"
This young person reminds me of myself, years ago. I had decided what was a sin or not, ignoring Church teaching where it caused discomfort, or where it meant I would have to amend my life. And I didn't want that. After all, I was college educated, so I was smart and could figure things out for myself. Turns out I was dumb and didn't know enough. So, as a result, I went many years without receiving the sacrament. But since my reversion, I make it a point to go at least once a month. The graces received from the sacrament are incredible, and being forgiven from my sins is true freedom. All those years I was in bondage to the sins that were keeping me from truly loving God and my neighbor, while I thought I was free from the limits of the Catholic religion. I'm still falling down from time to time, but at least now I have the sense to get out of the gutter.
Sadly, this young person is still in the gutter. She didn't receive any grace from the sacrament, having willfully withheld known sins (mortal ones, at that!), despite her "feeling" that she was healed. Not only that, describing the sacrament as a"ritual that mimics God's forgiveness" betrays her immaturity. I imagine the reason the priest asked if there were any other sins was because she only confessed two, despite having not gone in over a year. It's a fair question - and from her admission that she had held back on several others, it seems to me that she knew. That deep in her heart, while she wouldn't consciously admit it, she knew that those other behaviors were truly sinful.
We tend to have two reactions to our sinful behavior: we either admit it (sometimes sooner, sometimes later) and seek forgiveness, or we rationalize it in order to prevent guilty feelings and shame. It might make life on Earth a bit easier and most likely more fun, to ignore the objective nature of sin, and just focus on the subjective side of personal behavior. But in the end, perhaps when it's too late, the years of rationalizating only served to keep us separate from God's mercy and love.
So to answer the question: what is Catholicism without sin? Quite simply, it wouldn't be Catholicism. It's denying the authority of the Church. It's Me-ism, where there's room for neither God nor neighbor.
From the Telegraph.co.uk: Politically correct Christmas carols censor 'king', 'son' and 'virgin'
Enduring favourites such as Hark the Herald Angels Sing and God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen are being altered by clergy to make them more "modern and inclusive".
But churchgoers say there is no need to change the popular carols and complain that the result is a "festive car crash" if not everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet.
It comes just a day after a Church of England vicar banned his congregation from singing O Little Town of Bethlehem because he believed its words do not reflect the suffering endured by modern residents of Jesus's birthplace.
Another clergyman has rewritten the Twelve Days of Christmas to include Aids victims, drug addicts and hoodies.
Steve Goddard, co-editor of the Christian website Ship of Fools, which is running a competition to find the worst example of a rewritten carol, said: "It's a festive car crash."
While a part of me is curious as to how AIDS victims are incorporated into the "12 Days of Christmas" (which is ironic given that the hymn was written in order to secretly pass the Catholic faith during the years of persecution in medieval England), the rest of me is flabbergasted. PC stupidity of this magnitude is yet another example of the post-Christian secularism consuming England and Europe.
Among the "theologically-modified, politically-corrected" carols encountered by visitors to the website are Hark the Herald Angels Sing in which the line "Glory to the newborn King" has been replaced by "Glory to the Christ child, bring".
The well-known refrain of O Come All Ye Faithful – "O come let us adore Him" – has also been changed in one church to "O come in adoration", both changes apparently made for fear the original was sexist.
These "theologically-modified" carols would make Scrooge say "bah humbug!"
Monday, December 15, 2008
1. Love 'em, hate 'em, tolerate 'em, or...? Love 'em! I have a Christmas piano book that stays on the music stand on the baby grand all month long - I only wish I had more time to play them.
2. Policy: none before Christmas, none before Thanksgiving, or...? Not until Advent.
3. Favorite? Favorites, if you've got more than one? "Silent Night"; "O Little Town of Bethlehem"; "Sleep Well, Little Children"; "The Christmas Song"; "O Holy Night"; "Lo How A Rose E'er Blooming"; "White Christmas"; multiple Mannheim Steamroller renditions, and many many others.
4. Least favorite? Drives you batty/hate it/turn it off if it comes on the radio? "So This Is Christmas" (John and Yoko) - it gets the automatic station switch; "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" (Jackson 5); "Do They Know It's Christmas" (the Band-Aid song); any Carpenters version (something about Karen's voice, y'know?).
5. Caroling door to door in neighborhood? Ever done it/would do it? Wouldn't even consider it? Did it as a kid with my family, with hot chocolate and Christmas cookies afterward; have done it a few times with my sons and other neighbors, meeting at our house afterwards for refreshments.
6. Funniest kids' rendition, if any? "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" is just a funny song, not a rendition. My sons sing a funny "Jingle Bells" version - part of it goes like this: "Dashing through the snow; On a beat up pair of skis; Over the hills we go; Crashing into trees" and instead of singing "Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way, etc.", they sing "9-1-1, 9-1-1, call an ambulance! Drive me to the hospital and put me in a ca----ast!"
7. Most inappropriate carol ever heard in a church setting (Catholic or otherwise)? None that I can recall
8. The one foreign language carol I know (or know best) is...? "Feliz Navidad" or "Adeste Fidelis" (that does count, right?)
9. Carol that perplexes you the most? Can't think of any right now.
10. Carol your whole family will sing? "Jingle Bells", until it degenerates into the kids' version.
Feel free to self-tag.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Most of all, entropy affects the spiritual well-being. In fact, it's probably most destructive in this arena than any other, precisely because it affects one's relationship with God, and how people interact with each other.
There is no stasis when it comes to being in relationship with God. There is either movement towards, or away from Him. Which is why prayer is so important, and frequent reception of the Sacraments. In fact, Penance is kind of like anti-entropy - it restores balance, and reconstructs the places where sin has eroded the relationship.
If the relationship with God has broken down, then the deterioration quickly and inevitably affects the relationship with one's neighbor. Self-centeredness becomes the law of one's heart, despite the protestations of non-believers and agnostics. The Golden Rule of "do unto others what you would have them do unto you" too easily becomes "do it to others before they do it to you". The mantra of "Harm no one and do what you will" morphs into "Do what you want regardless of the consequences". In our culture, the concept of Individual Rights has swallowed the ideal of Common Good, when there ought to be a balance between the two.
These thoughts have crossed my mind this past week as I read about the riots that occurred in Athens and spread to other cities in Europe. The riots were sparked by the shooting of a teenage youth in Greece, and due to rising economic pressures, violence escalated and "sympathy" demonstrations took place in other countries, such as Spain, Denmark and Italy.
I couldn't put my finger on it, but I knew that the underlying reason for this sudden rush to violence was not limited to just economics. Yes, when times are hard, people become desperate and resort to actions outside normal behavior. Feelings of injustice and unfairness build up that explode into mindless chaos when a singular event occurs, like a spark in a gas chamber. But was there more than just this happening here.
Just the other day, I read at Abbey Roads 2 a post that clarified my thoughts. There's something called the Void Network, and Terry researched this, and here is some of what he wrote:
“Void Network first appeared in 1990 in Athens with aim the radicalization of every day life and the construction of situations in Public Space through the creation of Utopian Public Environments. Discussions, multi media lectures and poetry shows, open free festivals, multi screen Void Optical Arts Atmospheres (live cross-platform collaborations between visual artists, photographers, poets, lecturers, d.j.s), performances, documentary representations, culture jamming, organization of demonstrations, street parades and public actions, celebrations, concerts, open collaborative workshops of artists, activists, academic scientists and spiritual friends that through dialogue, interaction and synchronized activity can manifest multi formic conditions of open access to creativity, education, free information, open liberated autonomous public zones, meeting places, places of communication, empathy, expression and creation for thousands upon thousands of people.” - Void Network
This is more than just kids looking for an outlet, or crying for attention. It's a movement that seeks to perpetuate the ideals of "nihilism, negation, non-dogmatism, and inclusiveness." In other words - forget about following God and loving one's neighbor. It's all about Nothing. Void. Voidness. Voidalation.
“We deny the separated puppet role of the “artist”, “politician”, “scientist”, or “philosopher”. We believe that each one of us must keep in equilibrium the political, artistic and philosophic consciousness by keeping alive empathy, critical inquiry, inner cultivation, educative public communication and public open expression, solidarity and participation in the Public Sphere.
So, as we negate the morals of employment and the nuclear family social shell we focus on the achievement of new experimental ways to achieve Utopia in our everyday life,NOW!” - VN Manifesto.
A couple days after the violence erupted, the Bishops of Greece issued a statement, which stated, in part: “Athens, Dec 10, 2008 / 10:54 pm (CNA). The Catholic Greek Bishops Conference has issued a statement blaming the violent riots throughout Greece on a “moral void” resulting from a “detachment from Christian social doctrine and the abandonment of the common values of humanity.”
On Tuesday the Greek Bishops Conference called for a “peaceful revolution of values” to escape the “blind alley” which is “testifying to the moral void that exists within the state and social institutions.”
“We are experiencing a deep crisis of values,” wrote conference president Bishop Francesco Papamanolis. “The detachment from the Christians social doctrine and the abandonment of the common values of humanity and the respect of life, of people, property and difference, as well as unbridled materialism, lead to what is happening in our country in these days.” - Catholic News Agency
We've seen examples of this in our nation recently - protests following the Prop 8 election, for instance. Fr Corapi has said that when society becomes de-Christianized, it quickly becomes de-humanized.
That's spiritual entropy for you.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
And, as reported at InsideCatholic.com, just over 50% of those politicians accepted campaign donations from numerous pro-abortion groups, such as Emily's List, Planned Parenthood and NOW.
From the article, by Deal Hudson:
In the midst of compiling information on political donations, (Lisa) Correnti noticed large amounts of money being regularly accepted by Catholic politicians from the pro-abortion lobby. She decided to uncover the total amount of campaign donations given to Catholic members of Congress by organizations such as Planned Parenthood, Emily's List, NOW, and NARAL Pro-Choice America.
In the end, Correnti found that a number of the 162 Catholics currently in Congress have taken money from pro-abortion groups -- to the tune of more than $9 million.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has accepted nearly a quarter-million dollars -- $244,113, to be exact; Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), $205,768; the "pro-life" Sen. Bob Casey Jr. (D-PA), $327,914; Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), $1.04 million; Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), who assumed office only in January 2007, has accepted $986,619. (For a complete list of donations to Catholic members of Congress since 1990, click here.)
As a result of this investigation, Correnti and Hudson are looking to gather 100,000 signatures on a petition to be sent to Cardinal George of the USCCB, requesting that all Catholic politicians no longer accept campaign donations from any pro-abortion groups. To read and sign the petition, click here.
Also from Deal's article:
Our petition quotes Pope John Paul II in Evangelium Vitae, where he says that "abortion and euthanasia are crimes that no human law can claim to justify," and that for lawmakers "it is therefore never licit to obey it or to take part in a propaganda campaign in favor of such a law, or vote for it."
When a Catholic accepts a campaign contribution from NARAL or Planned Parenthood, he or she is declaring an intention to support their pro-abortion policies. With the Freedom of Choice Act looming on the horizon, you can bet these groups are looking for a return on their investment.
Obama has promised to sign FOCA, and he has picked pro-abortion candidates for several Cabinet positions. We all know what's at stake in the battle against the culture of Death. And despite weak and lackluster statements of the USCCB in the past, there is a glimmer of hope that they're prepared to go toe to toe with the new administration. Perhaps this petition, direct from the laity, will provide the bishops the inspiration needed to change the glimmer into a flame.
Check out the petition and prayerfully consider signing it.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
According to a spokeswoman of the Maryknoll Society, he has not recanted, thus he has been excommunicated. They are awaiting official word from the CDF, but for all intents and purposes, the penalty has been incurred.
Fr. Z has the story.
This is not a moment for gloating or celebration, so please pray for this priest, as well as everyone else who has incurred this penalty. Pray that they recognize and acknowledge their sin, seek forgiveness and be received in full communion with the Church.
From the Catechism: 1463 Certain particularly grave sins incur excommunication, the most severe ecclesiastical penalty, which impedes the reception of the sacraments and the exercise of certain ecclesiastical acts, and for which absolution consequently cannot be granted, according to canon law, except by the Pope, the bishop of the place or priests authorized by them. In danger of death any priest, even if deprived of faculties for hearing confessions, can absolve from every sin and excommunication.
Environmentalists found 20 neatly stacked tree trunks and others marked for felling with notches at the beauty-spot at Subkowy in northern Poland.
But police followed a trail left where one tree had been dragged away - and found a beaver dam right in the middle of the river.
A police spokesman said: "The campaigners are feeling pretty stupid. There's nothing more natural than a beaver."
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
And there are those that are not so great, like Scrooged, or Rudolph's Happy New Year.
Then there are those in a class all by themselves.
Monday, December 8, 2008
From Against The Grain via Creative Minority Report:
When I was young, I learned of the story of Captain Mitsuo Fuchida of the Imperial Japanese Navy, famous for leading the first wave of the attack on that fateful day of December 7, 1941. Wounded in the battle of Midway, he spent the rest of his life as staff officer, and was actually in Hiroshima only a day before the bombing (he was saved by a call from Headquarters asking him to return to Tokyo).
What is particularly fascinating about his life, however, is what happened after the war:
After the war, Fuchida was called on to testify at the trials of some of the Japanese military for Japanese war crimes. This infuriated him as he believed this was little more than "victor's justice". Convinced that the Americans had treated the Japanese the same way and determined to bring that evidence to the next trial, in the spring of 1947, Fuchida went to Uraga Harbor near Yokosuka to meet a group of returning Japanese prisoners of war. He was surprised to find his former flight engineer, Kazuo Kanegasaki, who all had believed had died in the Battle of Midway. When questioned, Kanegasaki told Fuchida that they were not tortured or abused, much to Fuchida's disappointment, then went on to tell him of a young lady who served them with the deepest love and respect, but whose parents, missionaries, had been killed by Japanese soldiers on the island of Panay in the Philippines.
For Fuchida, this was inexplicable, as in the Bushido code revenge was not just permitted, it was a responsibility for an offended party to carry out revenge to restore honor. The murderer of one's parents would be a sworn enemy for life. He became almost obsessed trying to understand why anyone would treat their enemies with love and forgiveness.
In the fall of 1948, Fuchida was passing by the bronze statue of Hachiko at the Shibuya Station when he was handed a pamphlet about the life of
Jacob DeShazer, a member of the Doolittle Raid who was captured by the Japanese after his B-25 Mitchell ran out of fuel over occupied China. In the pamphlet "I Was a Prisoner of Japan" Deshazer, himself a former U.S. Army Air Force Staff Sergeant and bombardier, told his story of imprisonment, torture and an awakening to God. Fuchida became more curious about Christianity but couldn't find a Bible at the time in post-war Japan, but in the spring of 1949, again at the statue of Hachiko he met a man selling Bibles, and he bought one. Later that fall, while reading the Bible, he understood for the first time why the young lady had forgiven her enemies and took his first steps in becoming a Christian. In May of 1950, he and Jacob DeShazer met for the first time, as friends. [Source: Mitsuo Fuchida - Wikipedia Entry]
Fuchida went on to become a missionary, preaching the gospel until his death in 1976. A full account of Fuchida's life is given in God's Samurai: Lead Pilot at Pearl Harbor (Potomac Books, 2003).
Fuchida's testimony, "From Pearl Harbor to Calvary," is also available online:
"I would give anything to retract my actions of twenty-nine years ago at Pearl Harbor, but it is impossible. Instead, I now work at striking the death-blow to the basic hatred which infests the human heart and causes such tragedies. And that hatred cannot be uprooted without assistance from Jesus Christ.
"He is the only One Who was powerful enough to change my life and inspire it with His thoughts. He was the only answer to Jake DeShazer's tormented life. He is the only answer for young people today."
"...Man, created innocent, fell by disobeying him; the mark of original sin remained engraved on his forehead and that of his progeny who will bear its consequences until the end of time.
"A woman brought ruin, and a woman was to bring salvation. the one, being tempted by a serpent, stamped the mark of sin on the human race; the other was to rise through grace, pure and immaculate. She would crush the head of the serpent who was helpless before her and who struggled in vain under her heel; for she was conceived without sin, and through her came grace to mankind.
"Protected with grace by him who was to the Savior of mankind that had fallen into sin, she escaped all shadow of evil. She sprang from the mind of God like a pure ray of light, and will shine like a morning star over the human race that turns to her. She will be the sure guide who will direct our steps toward the Divine Sun which is Jesus Christ. He makes her radiant with divine splendor and points to her as our model of purity and sanctity. No creature surpasses her, but all creation defers to her through the grace of him who made her immaculate. He whom she was to carry in her womb was the Son of God participating with the Father and the Holy Spirit in the glory of her conception.
"Clothed in light from the moment of her conception, she grew in grace and comeliness. After Almighty God, she is the most perfect of creatures; more pure than the angels; God is indeed well pleased in her, since she most resembles him and is the only worthy repository of his secrets.
"In the natural order she preceded her Divine Child, Our Lord, but in the divine order Jesus, the Divine Sun, arose before her, and she received from him all grace, all purity, and all beauty.
"All is darkness compared to the pure light that renews all creation through him whom she bore in her womb, as the dew on the rose.
"The Immaculate Conception is the first step in our salvation. Through this singular and unique gift Mary received a profusion of Divine Grace, and through her more."
Sunday, December 7, 2008
34Then the eunuch said to Philip in reply, "I beg you, about whom is the prophet saying this? About himself, or about someone else?"
35Then Philip opened his mouth and, beginning with this scripture passage, he proclaimed "Let your conscience be your guide."
The problem with private interpretation, or relying on one's own authority instead of the Church, is that one can be easily misled into some really weird stuff. Consider the following: Which translation has the following passage from Genesis?
"And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Aida, and she slept: and he took one of her ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; and the rib, which the Lord God had taken from woman, made he another woman, and brought her unto the first. And Aida said, 'This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of me. Therefore shall a woman leave her mother, and shall cleave unto her wife: and they shall be one flesh.' And they were both naked, the woman and her wife, and were not ashamed."
[Jeopardy theme music]
Give up? Why, it's The 'Gay' Princess Diana Bible, of course. The story was posted at Guardian.co.uk.
"There are many different versions of the Bible; I don't see why we can't have one," said Max Mitchell, who directed the science fiction comedy Horror in the Wind, in which an airborne formula invented by two biogeneticists reverses the world's sexual orientation.
"I got the idea for the Princess Diana Bible from Horror In The Wind," he added. "After the world becomes gay, religious people create The Princess Diana Bible, which says that gay is right and straight is a sin. Then they burn all the King James Bibles.
"...Mitchell said: "There are 116 versions of the Bible, why is any of them better than ours?"
Now, of course, this idea is a tremendous affront to Christians, and rightly so. And you're probably thinking that this would be unanimously supported by gay activists. Not so.
From Religion Dispatches: "The gay and lesbian community does not need a new Bible—it needs to make peace with the one we already have. There is an amazing amount of good news for gays and lesbians within its pages, despite the over-emphasized verses that supposedly condemn them." And there's this statement, too: "What makes it a bad idea, though, is that coming up with a “pro-gay” Bible disregards the fact that the Bible we already have is very pro-gay, despite what the anti-gay people say."
So on the one hand, there's a guy who's rewriting Scripture into a true abomination, and on the other, there are gay activists who have twisted the true Scripture to support their abominable lifestyles. And faithful Catholics are the ones who are screwed up? Am I missing something here?
Thursday, December 4, 2008
from Gateway Pundit
Christ is a dictator? The Nativity scene is "hate speech"? Dan Barker makes so many iditotic comments in this interview, I couldn't keep track.
LifeSiteNews.com has the story - as well as links to the full review on the USCCB site - and here's the full statement issued by Fr Euteneuer:
"Moral outrage is the only response to someone like Harry Forbes who consistently trashes Catholic values in his movie reviews and gets away with it... We are accustomed to pagans celebrating their values and letting lots of immorality slide with a wink and a nod, but when the official movie reviewer for the US Catholic Bishops Conference does it time and time again with no consequences, we have no credible moral compass with which to evaluate the content of movies any more."
"In his recent review of the homosexual promo flick, Milk, Forbes seems to think that 'male kissing…rear male nudity, murder, suicide, some rough language, crude expressions and profanity' merit something less than total condemnation from our Catholic point of view. Let’s face it: Forbes is simply an icon of the false Catholics in America who are accelerating the degradation of our civilization because they refuse to be 'salt and light' to preserve us from this very same darkness."
A review such as this only serves to further undermine the credibility of the USCCB. It's time for the bishops to kick this man to the curb and hire a true Catholic to review films. I nominate Steven Greydanus, creator of the DecentFilms.com site.
From the Telegraph.co.uk:
Jack Black is Jesus in Hollywood's 'Prop 8: The Musical' Gay Marriage Ban Satire.
...Prop 8: The Musical, directed and staged by Hairspray director Adam Shankman, features well-known stage and screen actors taking part in a Sacramento community college threatre group production.
It opens with the colourfully-dressed “California Gays and The People That Love Them” dancing and celebrating a “brand new bright Obama day” and “happy days for the gays”.
Then a black-clad crowd led by John C Reilly and Allison Janney describes how they will “spread some hate and put it in the constitution” via Proposition 8.
They claim the Bible says gay love is a sin. But Jesus Christ, played by Jack Black, intervenes to point out the Bible “says a lot of things”, including that shellfish is an abomination and it is acceptable to stone your wife or sell your daughter into slavery.
He urges them to “choose love instead of hate”.
The musical finishes with Neil Patrick Harris telling the Proposition 8 crowd about the “money to be made” from gay marriage before the entire cast unites in opposition to the ban, declaring that “gay marriages will save the economy”...
Geez Louise...all it's missing is the scene from Blazing Saddles where Dom DeLuise is directing the gay chorus line.
But it got me thinking. What if a Christian group produced a video that celebrated the passage of Prop 8...?
... It opens with the colorfully-dressed "California Supporters of Traditional Marriage and The People Who Love Them" dancing and celebrating that "right and true has made it through" and "a happy Life for husband and wife".
Then an angry and hate-filled crowd of Prop 8 Opposers, led by Rosie O'Donnell and George Takei, describes how they will force their will upon the state, first by terrorizing elderly defenseless women and leading violent protests outside of places of worship, followed by the unleashing of numerous lawyers to overrun the State Supreme Court.
But Jesus Christ, played by Jim Caviezel, intervenes to point out that unless they repent of their sin, they risk eternal damnation. Many of the lawyers tear up their briefs and beg for forgiveness while the anti-Prop 8 crowd shrieks in fury and refuse Christ. The ground beneath their feet opens up, releasing flames and awful fear-inducing demons, and they fall into the pit of Hell.
The musical concludes with Christ healing the injured elderly women and blessing the repentant lawyers, while Fr John Corapi makes an appearance and recites Romans 1:24-32.
I think that would get a much different reaction than the Hollywood version. It would probably sell more tickets, too.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Oh yeah - and the mainstream media is right on schedule with an attack on Christianity, and the Catholic Church in particular. No matter how ridiculous it makes them look. This editorial in the LA Times is as laughable as it gets.
Red Wing s/s to Carl Olson
I couldn't believe the e-mail that I recently received from a pro-life friend living in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She told me about a letter written by a nun to the archdiocese. The Milwaukee archdiocese published this letter in its newspaper, The Catholic Herald. I also answered my pro-life friend on the EWTN web site.
GOD IS PRO-CHOICE
"Even though Catholic bishops are already pressing President-elect Barack Obama on the issue of abortion, it is time they begin to realize that 54% of Catholics who voted for him do not agree with the bishops telling people how to vote.
"Obama may be pro-choice, but so is God. God gave everyone a free will and he does not pressure people into using that free will to do what is right. Obama promised to do what he can to prevent abortion. What more need he do when so many other pressures to make changes are upon him?
"Yes, abortion is the killing of an innocent life. So is war and violent killing on the street. I have often seen many starving babies in hospitals in Honduras and witnessed their pain. In these cases, abortion might have been the lesser of two evils, and even the most merciful alternative.
"I challenge our bishops to dwell more on unjust economic issues that both create and perpetuate the need for children to die of starvation, and for women to choose abortion. It would be better to aim at eliminating poverty rather than focus only on abortion. Poverty in our country and the world at large is a disgrace that cries to heaven for vengeance."
Sr. Arlene Welding, SSSF;
Uh, Sister? Have you forgotten that Christ was born into poverty too?
Monday, December 1, 2008
Another example of so-called Christians determining that God was wrong, Scripture is irrelevant and that the 10 Commandments came with a statute of limitations.
From CNSNews.com: Religious Leaders: Churches Should be "Non-Judgmental" about Behavior that Transmits HIV
Religious leaders and AIDS activists told CNSNNews.com Tuesday that labeling sex outside of marriage as sinful or having multiple partners as immoral behavior is “biased” – something society has “moved beyond.”
At a telephone news conference in advance of World AIDS Day, AIDS activist groups and representatives of various religious groups said that counseling teens and others to be abstinent and restricting sex to marriage just isn’t “realistic,” and called on churches and the incoming Obama administration to deal with HIV/AIDS in a “truthful” and “medically accurate way.”
You know, these religious leaders may be on to something. I think that being restricted to earning an income by showing up at my employer on time and being expected to do my best is "unrealistic", so it should be perfectly okay if I go rob the corner liquor store. And don't judge my behavior as immoral - that would be biased. Besides, I feel that society should have moved beyond the concept of a fair day's work for a fair day's wage by now. Since the Obama administration is going to "spread the wealth" anyway, how can there be any legitimate objection to my idea?
The Rev. Michael Schuenemeyer, executive for health and wholeness advocacy in the national offices of the United Church of Christ, said the church should be “nonjudgmental” when it comes to HIV/AIDS....The religious leader called on churches and “faith perspectives” not to engage in what he called “stigma” and “discrimination” – and appealed to Christian tradition to make his point.
But Schuenemeyer balked when CNSNews.com asked why religious groups shouldn’t label risky behavior the way religion has traditionally regarded it -- as immoral.
CNSNews.com: Let me ask you this: Outside of medical accidents -- like blood transfusions or children born to HIV-positive mothers -- is it possible for an unmarried person to contract HIV without basically someone committing an immoral act?
Rev. Michael Schuenemeyer, United Church of Christ: I think your question exemplifies why we are struggling with stigma and discrimination in our culture, because it betrays a bias about what is moral and immoral. So, I think we’ need to take a public health approach; we need to be nonjudgmental when we speak to people and we need to make sure people have accurate information. Stigma and discrimination keeps people from getting the information that they need. It’s often fear-based. And when people are faced with judgment they don’t get what they need to respond effectively. So I think we need to take much more of a public health approach for their concern. It’s not about whether people are engaging in moral or immoral acts, that’s a personal judgment that is being made. It’s about realizing what behaviors cause transmission and preventing those behaviors.
CNSNews.com: Isn’t ‘having multiple partners’ one of the major causes or routes for acquiring HIV, and doesn’t your religion label that as promiscuity or immorality? Shouldn’t religions counsel against sexual immorality?
Rev. Schuenemeyer: (No response.)
Gee, I thought the judgment that sex outside of marriage is immoral is straight from Scripture - so it's not a personal judgment. So either Schuenemeyer is being deceitful, stupid, or insane, or perhaps a combination of all three. I don't know the man, so I can't say for sure, but based on his "no response", I'm opting for deceitful. Oops - that was judgmental, wasn't it?
Bottom line is, men, women and children the world over suffer from the disease, new cases continue to be diagnosed, and people die every day from this killer. The Catholic Church has untold compassion for those who suffer from AIDS/HIV, despite the world's call for the Vatican to change the Church's teaching on condom use, thinking that doing so would solve the crisis. In reality, that would only excaberate the disease. It's sinful behavior that leads to the illness, and turning a blind eye to that reality, as Rev. Schuenemeyer and others like him are wont to do, does a great disservice to those susceptible to contracting HIV.
In their attempt to be tolerant, they have only shown themselves to be complicit.